Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Monuments Men's Findings


You’ve likely heard of The Monuments Men, the star-studded film that opened last week based on the true story of “the greatest treasure hunt in history,” in which seven museum directors, curators and art historians tasked by Franklin D. Roosevelt set out to save artistic masterpieces from Nazi destruction. What you may not know, however, is that nine pieces with ties to this story reside right here at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and you have the chance to see them as a part of a self-guided tour. You can find the in-depth stories behind the art here—and do, they're fascinating—but here’s an introduction:     

Benedetto da Rovezzano’s St. John the Baptist (1505): The Nazis bought this bust to display in Führermuseum, but in the meantime was hidden in a Nazi storage site: the Alt Ausee salt mines in Austria. Hitler ordered the destruction of the mine near the end of the war, but the workers thwarted that by setting off explosions that would seal the tunnels, but protect the contents.     

Willem de Poorter’s St. Paul and St. Barnabas at Lystra (1630): This was seized from a Jewish family, the Hakker’s, in Amsterdam by looters referred to as “Liro Bank.” It’s suggested that it ended up with German art dealer Hans Herbst who was in charge of the planned Führermuseum. The Dutch government obtained it in the early 1950s. 

Johannes Lingelbach’s The Piazza del Popolo, Rome (1660): This was one of thousands of pieces of art taken by the Nazis from a well-off Jewish family, the Rothschilds, who were granted a safe passage out of Austria in return for their art collection. It is another that was thought to have been stored in the Alt Ausee salt mines.

Adam Lenckhardt’s St. Jerome (1635-38): Once owned by Liechtenstein Prince Karl Eusebius, this landed in the Rothschild’s collection as well. It was likely looted then retrieved by the Monuments Men.

Pierre-Paul Prud’hon’s The Union of Love and Friendship (1793): Tasked by Saint-Marc Didot, a Parisian literary supporter, this was another piece in the Rothschild’s collection.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s The Piazza San Marco, Venice (1881): This impressionist painting was displayed in a museum in Munich until a New York dealer exchanged it for a painting by German Hans Thoma, one of Hitler’s favorite artists.

Driedel (1900): The museum is unsure where this piece came from, but it was in Europe at the time when, as Jews were being taken to concentration camps, their valuables were being stored as intentional reminders of the exterminated. One exception was part of a Jewish community in Danzig (now Gdansk), who sold their property and shipped it to Manhattan to finance their emigration.

Lyonel Feininger’s Hopfgarten (1920): This painting was hung in the Nazis’ Degenerate Art Exhibition. A U.S. Military worker bought the painting after the war, and the MIA acquired it in 1954.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Modern Bohemia (1924): SS officers took over German museums in 1937, removing those employed and confiscating art, including this painting. Nazis started to destroy the art before they realized they could instead sell it. This one was sold to a German art dealer for $75.  

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Record Store Day: Where to Find Rare Releases in MN

On April 21, rock out at mini-music festivals around the state, dig into gourmet donuts, and collect the rare vinyls available one time a year

Catch the Lyrids Meteor Shower

The meteor shower peaks April 21 and 22, just in time for Earth Day

A Day Trip to Excelsior

Just 20 miles west of the Twin Cities, this waterfront town is complete with charming shops and lakeside dining

Night Art Gallery Is Your Sober Night Out

The Lindstrom art gallery entertains with hors d'oeuvres, tons of art available for purchase, and non-alcholic drinks

Weekend Activities to Satisfy Your Inner-Child

Check out these weekend activities that will have you feeling like a kid again.

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: April

Sue Z.'s picks for philanthropic food events in April will have you supporting women chefs, sipping crafty cocktails, and celebrating Cookie Cart's 30th birthday

A Day Trip to Waconia

Enjoy great views, dining, and craft beverage destinations in this West Metro lakeside town

11 Easter Egg Hunts: From Flashlights to Geocaching

Yes, there's an annual adults-only Easter egg hunt in Rochester—and another for dogs, and another with geocaching, and another that drops them out of the sky. Check out more of the best egg hunts around Minnesota.

Rock Climbing in Minnesota

Rock on this spring at climbing gyms and favorite outdoor spots around Minnesota

5 Natural Wonders in Minnesota

Mother Nature takes the best selfies

Bad Axe Throwing Opens Minneapolis Location

Axe throwing makes its debut in Northeast Minneapolis—and it's not as dangerous as it sounds

Visit Award-Winning Minnesota Distilleries

Tattersall Distilling, J. Carver Distillery, and RockFilter Distillery are all worth the trip

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: March

Sue Z. picks Cochon555 as her philanthropic food event this month

5 Must-See Minnesota Public Gardens

Visiting these botanical wonders are sure to make your daisy
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags